Your Voice Matters

In Lola Shreveport, Louisiana Ladies, Teri Nettervilleby Lola Magazine

Keeping it Real with Teri Netterville

About a month ago, and out of the blue, my sister Kimberly sent this text to me:
Hey T, I’ve had this subject matter on my heart to send to you for some reason.  I don’t know why other than maybe this would be a good subject for you to expound upon in one of your articles for Lola Magazine or maybe a subject for you and Denise to talk about on the radio one night.  I’ve just been thinking so much about the impact of our words when spoken or written, so I am simply passing these thoughts onto you to use however you wish. I love you, K.

She wrote:
We’ve grown up hearing that words are powerful and that they must be used with caution and great care.  From experience, we know that hurtful words can wound us deeper than physical pain… And, sadly, these word wounds can’t heal until properly attended to with more positive words of love and affirmation.

Encouraging and loving words can heal a broken spirit and allow one to recognize their truest potential for greatness.  These words of goodness can feel like salve to the soul.

Dad so believed in the power of words that he actually prayed over us each night, as he ‘thought’ we were sleeping.  He wanted his whispered words of empowerment to emanate into our subconscious minds and then manifest themselves into our daily lives. Weren’t we so lucky to have a dad like that?

Our words can be tangible gifts that we offer to strangers.  A compliment, a word of encouragement, kindness and even a simple smile can be the fuel that keeps another soul going in that moment. Our fear of looking weird, being intrusive, and being dismissed or embarrassed almost always keeps us from voicing what our hearts are wanting to say to a stranger.

Praying out loud can have a profound impact on the person praying the prayer, as well as the one hearing the prayer. I have always loved those who are unafraid to lift others up with kind and heartfelt sentiments.  This tells me they are confident in themselves and that they realize the value of speaking goodness into their hearts.

We watched our dad do this our whole lives. Our children have always gotten embarrassed when we complimented strangers in public, yet we are now seeing them do the same thing as they mature into young adulthood. We teach by example.

Teri, I think you could write an incredible article encouraging people to find the courage within themselves to use their voice to inspire others …and to practice doing this on a daily basis.  As we know personally, this can have a profound impact in their own lives.

Well, my sister, I don’t have to write that article.  You just did a beautiful job of writing it for me.

I love every word my sister Kimberly shared with me that day.  I especially love the idea of using our own voices to encourage, inspire and empower others to do the very same thing with theirs.
Each and every weeknight, around suppertime, my friend Denise Arthur and I try to do just that during our “American Mama” segment on a radio program called, “American Ground Radio.”  Our co-hosts,  Stephen Parr and Louis R. Avallone,  mostly talk about the politics around our nation and those that hit closer to home, here in Shreveport. But in our “American Mamas” segment, Denise and I do our best to simply lend a voice for those who maybe feel stifled in their ability to express themselves freely in their daily lives regarding mama issues, marital issues, women’s issues and here lately, a lot of political issues.

Our radio show airs at 6 p.m. each night on KEEL radio (101.7FM & 710AM).  You can also download the “Radio Pup” app to listen in. Denise and I usually come on the air around 6:20ish. We are having a blast using our voice in this particular media realm.

When Lola Magazine asked me to simply share with you guys the reasons I have chosen to lend my voice through the avenue of radio media, the answer is quite simple… and it is for the same reasons I love to write for Lola.  It feels like a gift.  To be able to lend my voice for the sake of goodness and in hopes that maybe something I write or something I say can touch or move another to think about their own lives in a new and positive way, or with fresh perspective, then I feel like I am doing something good that honors my Heavenly Father.

And if, in turn, someone feels inspired to lend their own voice in whatever capacity is most comfortable for them, then my gosh, to God be the Glory even more!

If we do not accept the opportunities that come our way to use our voice to speak up and speak out, we simply risk losing the very opportunities that could challenge, inspire and encourage another to do the very same thing with their own voice.  And at this point in my life, that’s just simply not a risk I’m willing to take.  I want everyone to fully recognize the value in their own personal thoughts and beliefs.

Your voice matters.  Everyone’s does.

You must remember that.

And always remember that when you are afforded the opportunity to use your voice, you must always, always, always… Keep it real. 😉